Dave Barry's Money Secrets

Dave Barry's Money Secrets by Dave Barry

Book: Dave Barry's Money Secrets by Dave Barry Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dave Barry
thinking department. Go to any park, and you will see dogs racing around at top speed, nearly insane with frustration, ramming headfirst into trees at speeds upwards of 30 miles per hour in their fruitless efforts to catch squirrels, while the squirrels themselves are safely up in their trees laughing so hard that the ground beneath them is damp with squirrel drool.*  28
    So the idea is, to make these dogs—and of course their owners—happy, you would start a business that would, each month, mail your customers a dead squirrel. I guarantee that the arrival of this package would be WAY more exciting for the dog than any dog-spa treatment. There would be urine
everywhere.
    The reason it has to be a dead squirrel, of course, is that if it was alive, it would easily elude the dog. Another possibility would be to mail live squirrels, but hobble them by putting tiny shackles on their paws so the dogs could catch them. The problem there is that the dog might be one of those mutant miniature breeds that look like the result of a biological experiment to see what happens when you mate a gerbil with a ball of lint:

    Photography Credits

    Even a hobbled squirrel would take about four seconds to reduce this dog to Purina Squirrel Chow. No, dead squirrels are definitely the way you want to go. Fortunately, there is an abundant supply of them occurring naturally all around you, if you just look.

    Photography Credits

    Another potentially huge moneymaker is cell phones for pets. You know how you often see businesspeople walking around in public talking on those cell-phone headsets, which enable them to harness the awesome power of global communications technology to look like total assholes? It is only a matter of time before pet owners start wanting these things for their pets:

    Photography Credits

    If your pet was wearing a cell phone with a headset, you could always stay in constant contact with it and find out exactly what it was thinking (“barkbarkbarkbarkbark”).
    Yet another pet-related business you could make big money in is pet cloning. I found out about this from the
New York Times,
*  29 which had a story about this person who loved his cat so much that he was planning to pay a pet-cloning company $32,000 for a new one. That is correct:
$32,000.
For a
cat.
We have to ask ourselves, as a society, what has happened to our priorities and our values when—at a time when many young people in this country cannot afford to go to college—a person is willing to spend, to replace a cat, an amount of money that could be used to buy—and this is a conservative estimate—9,000 gallons of beer.
    This is a horrible misuse of resources. You definitely should cash in on it. What you do is start a company called Discount Scientific Pet Cloning. Your competitive edge would be that you’d charge
half
what the “big boys” were charging for pet clones. Here’s how your business would work: You’d tell your customers to mail you a photo of their pet, plus a plastic baggie containing some of the pet’s DNA, which could be in the form of a hair, a saliva-soaked tennis ball, a tapeworm, a poop, some fabric from a piece of furniture that the pet was fond of attempting to mate with, etc. You would take these items into your Scientific Cloning Laboratory, which would be your garage. There, using a pair of sterile tongs, you would throw the baggie away. Then you would go to an animal shelter and get a replacement pet. This is why you need the photograph: You want the replacement to look at least vaguely like the pet that it is replacing. At the very least you want it to be the same species. Like, if the original pet was a cat, you don’t want to be sending the owner a llama. For one thing, llamas are really hard to mail.
    Perhaps you are thinking: “Wait a minute: If you’re not actually cloning the pets, isn’t that
. . . fraud?
” Well, if you want to use a picky legalistic definition of “fraud”—i.e., committing an act of

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